Give up your rights ladies, you might be on a sinking ship someday

I just read one of the most– if not the most– idiotic justifications for sexism I’ve ever come across. And I’ve read a lot of stupid shit in my time. Kya posted a link on Reel Girl’s Facebook page to Suzanne Venker’s post on Fox news.

Venker argues that women have always had it better than men. Here’s why:

Prior to the 1970s, people viewed gender roles as as equally valuable. Many would argue women had the better end of the deal! It’s hard to claim women were oppressed in a nation in which men were expected to stand up when a lady enters the room or to lay down their lives to spare women life.When the Titanic went down in 1912, its sinking took 1,450 lives. Only 103 were women. One-hundred three.

Compare that with last year’s wrecked cruise line, the Costa Concordia. It resulted in fewer deaths, but there was another significant difference. “There was no ‘women and children first’ policy. There were big men, crew members, pushing their way past us to get into the lifeboats. It was disgusting,” said passenger Sandra Rogers, 62.

Let’s just leave aside for a moment the idea that if women and men actually had equality, there’s a better chance that a woman would’ve been captain of the Costa Concordia– not to mention the Titanic– and the ship wouldn’t have sunk in the first place.
Here’s a question for the women of America. What would you rather have: equal pay for equal work or men standing up when you enter a room? Do you prefer to rely on chivalry for your well being or financial and political autonomy?
Yes, women, there’s a chance that you might find yourself on a sinking cruise ship someday. And at that moment, you may be incredibly grateful that you gave up all of your rights so that a fellow passenger is noble enough to die for you. (Then again, you might not. You might be old or sick and decide it’s your time to go.) But far more probable than that life outcome, harm is likely to come to you from your husband or boyfriend. On average, more than three women are murdered by their intimate partners in this country every day. One in four women (25%)  in America are victims of domestic violence. (Stats from the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence)
With violence against women being a national epidemic, you’d think that stopping it would be high on the U.S. government’s agenda. Yet, our congress stalled the Violence Against Women Act. I don’t get it. I thought that protecting women was a #1 priority. Women and children first, right? What happened here? Talk about chivalry being dead.
Perhaps, instead of hoping that men do the right thing for us, women are better off getting the power to do the right thing for ourselves.
Women are half of the population but underrepresented in the U.S. government. In 2013, women make up just 18% of congress. There are only 5 women governors. Throughout U.S. history, only four women have held the office of Supreme Court Justice. There has never been a female President of the United States.
But according to Venker, the problem for women is feminism. Besides using shipwrecks, she provides other evidence for the ultimate good of systemic sexism. Contradicting the idea of gender equality, Venker writes:

Those of us with children know better. We know little girls love their dolls and boys just want to kick that ball.

As a mom of three young daughters, much of the reason I’m passionate about gender equality is because my kids love to kick balls. Most kids do, just like they love to push things on wheels, though toy strollers are marketed to some toddlers while toy cars are marketed to others. The whole reason I started Reel Girl is because I was appalled by the gender stereotypes sold to young children by billion dollar companies, urging boys and girls, even pre-birth, to take radically different life paths.

But Venker knows better. The whole purpose of her post is to promote her book, How to Choose a Husband and Make Peace with Marriage. According to her,Its premise is that if women want to be successful in love, they should reject the cultural script they’ve been sold and adopt a whole new view of men and marriage.”

That cultural script is feminism. Can you imagine taking this woman’s advice on how to choose a husband? I’m happily married, by the way, and have been for ten years. What great wisdom will Venker bestow on women? Pick someone who loves cruises so that chivalry will come in handy? Brush up on shuffleboard?